I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. My first dog was a golden retriever named Sandy. Together we roamed all over, from Knightsbridge Road, through dirt roads, and into the baseball fields. As I reflect on my childhood spent with Sandy, it seemed as though I was just a boy taking adventures with my loving well mannered family dog. At the time I did not know, that my humble beginnings would lead me to helping my clients develop a deeper more meaningful connection with their family dog, similar to the relationship I shared with Sandy.
Like many young musically talented men, I had big dreams of becoming a professional drummer. Entertaining people by bringing an immediate sense of joy into their lives, filled me with an incredible sense of purpose. In junior high school, with my twin brother as the guitarist, we started a band called 7 Till. We jammed together straight through college. It was an amazing time in my life.
Prior to attending college, in 1996, I happened to see a television show which featured a dog daycare. The concept seemed absolutely phenomenal to me. Approaching every single day creatively, where I could provide people with a sense of joy by partying with their dogs seemed like a truly amazing idea. I knew instantly that one day, I would open an awesome dog daycare.
Understandably, my father encouraged me to focus on selecting a more stable career than drumming, and although I initially attended the University of North Alabama to study music, I soon changed my major. In 2001, I graduated with a degree in marketing. Still filled with enthusiasm about establishing a dog daycare facility, a day after my college graduation, I began my search for the future location of The Barking Zone.
In September of 2003, after encountering two solid years of set backs pertaining my efforts to locate the safest and most convenient location for my dog daycare facility, Caldwell Mill Animal Clinic accepted my proposal to open The Barking Zone on their land. The operation was a success! The Barking Zone essentially makes going to the veterinary clinic a fun thing to do. There is the aspect of positive socialization, and boarding, coupled with the security of having a veterinary staff available in a moments notice. Four years ago, I began franchising The Barking Zone with other veterinary clinics. “The BZ Franchises” are currently located in Jasper, Alabama and in Montgomery, Alabama.
Establishing an awesome dog daycare facility was really a pleasure, but my ambitious nature left me craving more information about dog behavior. Through my years of working with some truly dedicated loving dog owners, I watched frustrated clients struggling to cope with their dog’s bad behavior. I recognized a need for dog training that could help my clients develop a deeper more meaningful connection with their family dog. Thereafter, I began my journey to become a balanced dog trainer. Initially, I learned all about clicker training and then graduated from Animal Behavior College. After six months of relying only on positive reinforcement, I observed how that style of training, had its limitations.
Being an enthusiastic student of life and challenging myself to find the most effective method of dog training practices, I recognized my need for more knowledge of dog behavior modification. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study with Ladale Kennedy of Infinity Dog Training, Ty Brown of Ty the Dog Guy, Sean O’shea of The Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation, and Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 Training and Curtis Craig with The Calm K9!
Collectively, these balanced trainers have helped me to develop and refine my personal method of balanced training. Their respective styles and perspectives on dog training have enriched my life, and my understanding of dog training immensely. I maintain a close training relationship with each of my mentors. I am so very proud to be personally and professionally associated with such amazingly genuine people.
Implementing a balanced training approach for my clients with badly behaving dogs has helped my clients understand, that with the right training approach, they can have a well-behaved party animal. I feel truly blessed to be able to empower my clients and their dogs to live more peacefully with their dog, while not sacrificing the dog’s personality in the training process.
Speaking of dogs with personality, I have two rescued Great Danes, Prada and Delilah. Delilah is deaf, and my intention is to start a remote collar training program with her to provide her with a sense of clarity when learning basic obedience. I also have a Doberman named Samson, and a Chihuahua named Teke. My motley crew of a pack joins me everyday at The Barking Zone. Together we party all day everyday.
Years ago, my long walks with my dog Sandy, lead me down a path where I would be able to help so many clients develop a deeper more meaningful connection with their family dog. I am utterly humbled to have the opportunity to both train and party with your dog. Thank you!